I am providing for you a DIY intractable for a smaller version of a leather bucket bag. These are my own dimensions, and you can of course scale them bigger or smaller.
I have been leathercrafting for about one year now, and the hobby is super addicting. If you are on the fence about making bags (as I once was), my best advice is to just dive in! The only way to learn is by doing it (and making mistakes along the way), this bag in my opinion is not too difficult of a project, and I tried my best to provide comprehensive instructions with pictures.
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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Most if not all these supplies you can find at Tandy's Leather store. They may not be exactly the same as I use, but they have something just like it if not. As a beginner/amateur I buy most of my tools and a ton of leather from Tandy's.
Choice of leather:
You are going to need a size-able piece of leather here, for me I had a good amount of a hide I had previously purchased. This piece is 3/4 oz Burgundy Essex leather. Your weight of leather should range from 3/4oz to 5/6 oz.
Here is a list of supplies I used; some supplies are not necessarily needed, while others are pretty important to have. For example, you do not necessarily need a strap cutter like I have pictured, but it'll make life a whole lot easier if you do have one. I may have missed some supplies here but I tried my best to include everything I used.
-Hole Punch (1/2 in, 7/32 in, 1/8 in)
-Thread (Ritza Tiger thread 0.8mm) / Needles
-Diamond Punch Chisels
-French Tips end template
-Button Stud hole punch
Step 2: Make a Prototype!
This step can save you a ton of time and is relatively quick. I will provide my dimensions, but if you choose to scale them larger or smaller i'd suggest making a prototype (mine is out of a paper bag) to give you a good idea on what your bag will look like.
Step 3: Making the Cuts
Here is all the leather you'll need. Dimensions are as follows:
- 2 Larger pieces (this is the body of the bag): 12.4in wide x 11.8in tall
- 2 straps: 0.75in wide x ~35 inch long (this will likely be too long but you can always shorten them depending on your height)
- 1 drawstring: 0.5in wide x 45 in long (again you can always shorten!)
Having a strap cutter here will save you A LOT of trouble. As always with leather precision is very important, so take your time as you cut the leather.
Step 4: More Cuts...
You need to now cut triangle slits on the bottom of your two larger pieces. You will cut these along the WIDTH of the bag. Make sure to double check because the two pieces are almost squares. If you do this along the length of the bag it'll mess up the shape.
The triangle slits are 2.6in from the edge and 2.6in deep.
Additionally you will need to punch 6 holes along the top of the bag. These are 1 inch from the top of the bag and the holes are placed 1.75in apart. This is where you will use your 1/2 in hole punch, but if you dont have one you can freehand these cuts.
Step 5: Sewing the Corners
This part is slightly hard to explain, but I will try my best.
You want to take the bottom of the bag (with the triangle slits), and you are going to take the two square flaps and fold them over at a 90* angle. You will want to glue them in place as pictured.
After the glue dries, you can punch your holes and sew the two pieces together. If you are not familiar with saddle stitching, it is the technique I use and I'd suggest looking it up on youtube.
Sew all four corners as pictured. You can then cut off the excess leather on the inside as shown on the last picture (this step is unnecessary but I like to do it).
Step 6: Sewing Your Bag
After you have finished the corners, it is now time for the longest step of this process. It is pretty self-explanatory as well. You need to now sew the two pieces of the body together.
This is done easiest if you flip the bag inside out first and put some binder clips on the top. You can choose to punch the holes all at once or as you go. For me personally I punch a few holes then sew and repeat the process. Again you need to know how to addle stitch for this process.
The nice thing is if you mess up a stitch or two it doesn't really matter as no one will see this stitching as it is on the inside.
After you finish the stitching, you can flip the bag and hopefully you'll have something that looks like the last two pictures.
Step 7: Drawstring
I like to use the french tip on the end of my drawstring, but you can choose what you want to do. I've also done circular ends as well. This is also where I add my Maker's Mark (the stamp) on the two ends of the drawstring. Again optional.
Step 8: Straps
On one end of the strap you need to punch three holes (1/8in) and attach three button studs. I decided to place my studs 1in apart, but this is up to you (I would not suggest shorter than 1in apart). You also need to punch a single hole at the end of each strap (7/32in) for the attachment of the straps to the bags. I attach with Chicago Screws as shown, but you can forgo this step and sew or rivet the ends.
On the other strap you will need to punch holes for the button studs to attach to. This is done with a special button stud punch (for lack of a better term), but it is essentially a hole punch with a slit on it. On this strap you can place as many holes as you want, but make sure they are 1in apart (or whatever length you placed your button studs). Placing more of these holes allows your strap to be adjustable in length. Make sure you place this slit in the correct direction (the direction of the slit needs to be opposite of the direction the leather pulls in). Again I did a french tip on the end of the strap.
*Side not: the sizes of your hole punches depends on your hardware, so you may need to adjust accordingly.
Step 9: Strap Keepers
Last step! Make your strap keepers. The pieces are 2 1/8in long and 3/4in high. Simply punch two holes on each end and sew them together.
After that just place them on the straps and you are all finished!
Hopefully this tutorial was helpful, I tried to be as detailed as possible and hopefully the steps are clear.
Participated in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016